MOUND CROSSING — Mount Vernon native Michelle (Richert) Kazlausky was killed after being struck by a pickup truck Saturday afternoon, in Hocking County, while riding in the Pelotonia, a bike ride to raise funds for cancer research.
“She was a beautiful, fun-loving and gifted student who was very active in the school and a friend to all at Mount Vernon High School,” said Jeanne Melvin of Columbus, who was good friends with Kazlausky at MVHS. “She was voted onto both the Forum and homecoming courts and was one of those popular classmates who was actually a nice person. She had a laugh that was infectious and a positive spirit that made people want to be around her as much as possible.”
Kazlausky’s sister, Barb Koelbl of Reynoldsburg, remembers her sister as a committed and concerned person.
“She was an employee at OSU East Hospital and she got so involved in [Pelotonia],” Koelbl said. “She just recently took up bicycling again. She had never done this event before. Basically she spent most of her time raising her family and the usual things in life. But she was very dedicated to this cause.”
Marcia Orsborn, a teacher at Mount Vernon Middle School, remembers Kazlausky from their time together as pupils at St. Vincent de Paul School.
“She was always outgoing, had a vibrant personality, was bubbly, cute, smart. She was the whole package, that girl,” Orsborn said. “It’s so sad. Think about what she was doing, riding for cancer patients — she lost her life riding for cancer patients. That is like the ultimate sacrifice, the ultimate donation.”
Known as Shelli to her friends, Kazlausky was a longtime employee of The Ohio State University and most recently served as a medical technologist at The Ohio State University Hospital East.
“Ohio State has lost a deeply caring, compassionate and dedicated staff member,” OSU President E. Gordon Gee wrote. “Through her work in a clinical laboratory at University Hospital East and at the Comprehensive Cancer Center, she devoted her career to improving the lives of patients. Through her participation in Pelotonia, she demonstrated her selfless commitment to discovering a cure for cancer.”
Funeral arrangements are pending.